K–12 Schools Take a Business-Minded Approach to Education

Schools district administrators need to be business savvy to make the most of their limited resources.

Aging, malfunctioning technology can be costly for schools — not only financially but also in terms of time. But forward-looking administrators are embracing advanced technologies, as well as key business best practices, to make the most of their limited time and dollars.

Take the School District of Janesville in Wisconsin, whose aging servers and storage area network were subject to time-consuming system failures that sometimes forced hour-long waits for reboots. 

In 2017, the school system adopted hyperconverged infrastructure and saw dramatic improvements, including more time for IT staff to focus on innovative projects instead of daily server management. 

“It allowed us to move the conversation forward about how to use technology to better educate our kids because we no longer have to have these discussions about everything else,” CIO Robert Smiley says. 

Upgrading to Save Time and Money

Other districts across the country are investing in HCI, network upgrades and other tools, such as learning management systems, to help them reduce costs, increase overall efficiency and better hone their efforts to educate students

Those benefits of cost savings and efficiency — standard concepts for successful businesses — are crucial for school districts. 

Administrators not only need to assure stakeholders that they are good stewards of tax dollars, but also must ensure their technology investments are used to enhance learning as intended, rather than hamper it. 

That latter goal is one reason why California’s Saugus Union School District invested in software and trainers to help teachers with classroom management and data analysis

The district’s leaders understand it takes time as well as training for teachers to get comfortable with technology and use it effectively in their classrooms

The technology, coupled with a bit of business savvy, can help districts guarantee that the focus remains where it should be — on teaching and learning.

Feodora Chiosea/Getty Images
Oct 29 2019

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